Bulgaria Court rules claim gay men are more dangerous than smoking is unlawful

The Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria has ruled that comments by Bulgarian film director Andrey Slabakov constitute unlawful harassment, ordering the country’s Commission for Protection against Discrimination to take action against him

Bulgaria Court rules claim gay men are more dangerous than smoking is unlawful
26 December 2013 Print This Article

Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that comments made on national television by actor and director Andrey Slabakov saying homosexuals were more dangerous than smoking are unlawful harassment.

During a television interview in 2011, Slabakov claimed that ‘gays are more dangerous than tobacco smoking because they spread AIDS on a mass scale.’

Slabakov said this posed a threat to the wider community because ‘some of them are bisexual’ and thus had the potential to spread the disease to heterosexuals as well.

LGBT activists Radoslav Stoyanov and Dobromir Dobrev filed a complaint with Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection against Discrimination, but the commission initially dismissed the complaint, saying it could not find any breach in the country’s Protection against Discrimination Act. In Slabakov’s comments.

The activists appealed the commission’s decision in a district administrative court which found in their favor – however the commission then appealed that ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court.

In its decision the Supreme Court found that Andrey Slabakov was a well known public figure in Bulgaria and thus an influential opinion maker. The fact that the interview had been aired during prime time on national television was also been taken into consideration.

The court also found that there is no absolute freedom of speech in the Bulgarian Constitution, and that slander that violates the dignity of a person and creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment on the ground of sexual orientation is not considered protected speech under Bulgarian or EU law.

The decision is final and obliges the national equality body to impose administrative measures or administrative penal provisions on Slabakov. The Commission for Protection against Discrimination is expected to reach a decision.

Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 and its Protection against Discrimination Act transposes EU directives on protecting minority groups.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

‪God loves LGBTs says ‬Catholic Filipino author

New book by Raymond Alikpala says 'being gay is a special grace from God'
No thumbnail available

Church ‘must face up to sex revolution’, Archbishop Welby tells Synod

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says recent marriage debate shows how the Church risks appearing out-of-step with changing society
No thumbnail available

Matt Bomer and Glee cast help raise more than $600,000 for Family Equality Council

Star-studded dinner in LA hosted by Sandra Berhnard also drew Patti LuPpone, Andrew Rannells and Sarah Paulson
No thumbnail available

Catholic Archbishop scraps gay Soho masses

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols says LGBT services in London's gay village went against the Church's teachings
No thumbnail available

Obama fights for gay marriage bill in Illinois

US president returns to Chicago where he was a senator to fight for a marriage equality bill at a fundraising dinner
No thumbnail available

US Senate unanimously confirms first openly gay judge to a federal appeals court

Todd Hughes has been deputy director in civil division of  Justice Department since 2007
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Victoria Premier faces dissent over LGBT committee

Pre-election plans to set up an LGBT issues advisory committee are well-overdue in the Australian state of Victoria
No thumbnail available

Matriarch of anti-LGBTI Duggar family has a lesbian sister

Evelyn Ruark  has only once been briefly seenon sister Michelle Duggar's TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting